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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Fritz Salmen House

Fritz Salmen House

Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council
Interior of the Salmen House
Photograph from the National Register collection
The Fritz Salmen House is a one-and-one-half-story frame residence located on a large lot bordering one of Slidell's major thoroughfares. Built around 1900, the Fritz Salmen House is locally significant because of its close association with Fritz Salmen, founder of the brickyard which was Slidwell's first major industrial facility. The home was Fritz Salmen's residence from its construction until his death in 1934. The Salmen Brothers Brick and Lumber Company was the economic mainstay of Slidell from its founding in the 1880s through at least the second decade of the 20th century. Stylistically, the Fritz Salmen House features elements from both the Colonial Revival and the Queen Anne styles. The Colonial Revival decorative features include it's overall symmetrical, boxy shape, a pillared porch wrapping around two sides of the building beneath the home's main roof, a hipped roof with prominent central shed dormers, and a double entrance door. The dwelling's surviving Queen Anne style characteristics include textured shingles on the sides of the dormers; one intact bay window; and corbelled chimney tops.Slidell's birth coincided with the arrival of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad, which surveyed the townsite in 1883. At the time the parish was already well known for its fine clay deposits, which had furnished the raw material for brick making since well before the Civil War. When Swiss immigrant Fritz Salmen arrived in 1886, Slidell became a center of brickmaking. With his two brothers, Jacob and Albert, Fritz established a small brickworks in which the employees made bricks by hand. True entrepreneurs, the brothers soon branched out, establishing The Salmen Brothers Brick and Lumber Company in 1886. Next, they expanded into shipbuilding in 1914 and then this portion of the business branched off into its own company, the Slidell Shipbuilding Corporation on Bayou Bonfouca. After the economic boom years during World War I, Fritz and Albert, the surviving brothers, began to cut back their operations. By 1926, a new company owned the original brick and lumber plant, but the Salmen brothers, in their seventies, operated a smaller brick and lumber plant along the bayou.

The Salmen House is located at 127 Cleveland Ave. in Slidell. The house is now a restaurant and special event venue. Groups tours can be arranged by calling 1.866.672.8866, visit Patton's for dining information.

Source: Internet